What is the Striped Skunk? An explanation of its characteristics, ecology, and habitat


What kind of animal is the striped skunk? We will explain its characteristics, ecology, and habitat. It is a common skunk in North America and is well known in the Americas. Like other skunks, it is known to emit a foul odor to scare off predators.

What is a Striped Skunk? Basic Stats

The striped skunk is a mammal classified in the genus Skunk, family Skunculidae, order Carnivora, class Mammalia. Its scientific name is Mephitis mephitis, and its English name is Striped skunk. Its body length is 28-38cm, tail length is 18-44cm, and weight is 1.5-3kg. A list of information is below.

English(英名)Striped skunk
scientific name(学名)Mephitis mephitis


The striped skunk is found in North America, including Canada and the United States, as well as Central America, including Mexico.

What are its characteristics? What kind of creature is it?

Striped skunks have a white stripe on their back from the top of their head to their tail, and are otherwise black, so they are characterized by their contrasting black and white coloring. They have a small conical head and a long, heavy, furry tail, and a sturdy body. Some individuals often mutate to gray or cream. Striped skunks are nocturnal, resting in their burrows during the day. They mainly live in grasslands and forests.

What is their personality like?

Striped skunks are solitary and do not often form groups. They tend to be very self-paced and act at their own pace.

What is their ecology like?

Striped skunks are omnivorous and basically eat anything. They are polygamous and breed once a year, usually giving birth between February and April. The gestation period is 60 days, and they can give birth to 3-6 pups at a time. They are nursed for about two months, and both males and females reach sexual maturity at 10 months. Their lifespan is about 10 years. They are susceptible to infectious diseases, so the mortality rate of young is high and many individuals die.

Do they have any natural predators?

Coyotes and wolves are natural predators of striped skunks. When a predator approaches, skunks release a strong odor. The odorous liquid is oily, yellow, and has a strong odor that can be sprayed several meters away.

Is the striped skunk an endangered species?

The population of striped skunks is stable. They are captured for their fur, bred, and even over-hunted as pets, so there are many dangerous factors in the future.

Can you keep a striped skunk?

Unfortunately, striped skunks are the main vector of rabies, so they are not very suitable for pet owners. They are one of the most famous animals in North America, but they are popular.

About pet food

Currently, they are not kept as pets, but if you raise them with other skunks, they are very docile and easy to get used to. In nature, they are omnivorous, eating insects, rodents, plants, fruits, etc., so they can eat a variety of things. General dog dry food is also OK.

Keeping them in a cage

It is common to keep them in a cage. Please set up a place to rest and a toilet in the cage. When keeping them indoors, use a sturdy cage and cut their nails properly. Also, the temperature should be around 20 degrees Celsius, so air conditioning or heating is essential.


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